A national TV news show that had a stay-at-home dad on the air and didn’t once mention “Mr. Mom.”
It’s a freaking miracle.
No, I mean it. I’ve done a bunch of these types of interviews and I basically just sit there waiting for someone to reference Michael Keaton or ask something incredibly sexist like, “Shouldn’t you be out … working?” To which I always think, “So that my wife can be at home in the kitchen then? Barefoot and pregnant?” Or, “You don’t think being home is work?”
No, none of that. It was amazing. It was awesome. The whole event reminded me of that Tide commercial where a dad is shown at home folding laundry, talking about the awesomeness of stain-fighting super chemicals. No. Big. Deal.
That’s exactly what it was like for this segment. I wish all the TV shows did this. (Why don’t all the TV shows do this?)
You can watch the clip over here.
But here’s the back story on the amazing job CBS This Morning’s Saturday show did. I got a note from a producer asking if I wanted to be on the show to talk about the economics of at-home parenting. And then that’s what we actually talked about. I can’t stress this enough: It was amazing, a first — at least for me. Practically every time I get interviewed for anything — practically any time I see segments about stay-at-home dads — I hear the Mr. Mom questions and then while we should be spending time talking about something important — like the economics of parenting — we instead spend the time talking about how dads don’t need vaginas to be great parents.
I give serious credit to the CBS Morning Show for reaching out to dads in the first place. They literally could have yanked any at-home or working parent off the street to talk about this. But no, they got in touch with me and then we had a great little chat about the difficulties of making parenting work. If anything, the only moron on the air was yours truly.
At the end of the interview, Carmen Wong Ulrich, the reporter on the story, brought up an interesting topic that probably deserves more time for discussion: the parenting penalty, or the price at-home parents pay when trying to get back to the paycheck working world.
I think about it from time to time, knowing I won’t be at home with my daughter forever, and I like to think I’ve been keeping my foot in the paycheck world with freelancing. But I know that’s not the case for all, and sometimes it’s practically impossible, depending on the type of job the parents left behind. So I wanted to continue that discussion to see what your plans are for the future and whether this weighs on your mind?
I also wanted to give a serious shout out to the CBS crew for a job very well done. That, people in the news industry, is how it should be done.